Borderlands Tour, 5 - 11 June

 

The Scottish Borders is famous for its castles and its cashmere, for the lovely Tweed valley, medieval abbeys, Sir Walter Scott's baronial home and the romantic Border Reivers (rustlers). Combine this with a visit to Hadrian's Wall and Alnwick Castle, (Harry Potter films)... and we have a sensational five day tour!

 

Included are Flodden battlefield, site of Scotland's worst defeat, Teviothead where the flamboyant reiver Johnnie Armstrong was hung by his king, luxurious Floors Castle, seat of the Dukes of Roxburgh, and a look at grim Hermitage Castle. You'll also witness the unique and colourful spectacle of the Hawick Common Riding (dates from 1703).

 

The Eildon Hills from Scott's View

 

Each tour is for a maximum of seven people, travelling in a nine-seater minibus.

 

The general outline of the tour is as follows ...

 

Thursday 7 June. Tour guide meets you at your Edinburgh B&B and you head straight for Peebles, a charming market town on the Tweed, full of small independent shops and, just outside it, Neidpath Castle on its cliff.

 

Following down the Tweed we stop at Traquair, the oldest inhabited house in Scotland; always a Jacobite house, its 'Bear Gates' will remain closed until a Stuart is again on the throne. We then head to Hawick and world famous Johnstons Cashmere; here you will see cashmere being knitted and of course have the chance to buy. Final stop of the day is Jedburgh Abbey, the best preserved of all the abbeys despite being so close to the English Border.

 

Traquair

 

We reach our St Boswells hotel in good time to settle in, then hear from a local about the ancient and spectacular Common Riding that you'll see tomorrow.

 

Friday 8 June and we head up to the Common Riding, cameras at the ready. Then to Selkirk and Lochcarron weavers. A little down the river is Abbotsford, the exuberant and fascinating home of Sir Walter Scott. Next we visit 13th century Melrose Abbey, where the heart of Robert 'The Bruce' is buried. From Bruce to Wallace and a massive statue of the Great Patriot overlooking the Tweed; and there's a stop en route to enjoy 'Scott's View' across the Tweed to the Eildon Hills. Finally, we visit Smailhom, a classic Border tower-house, where Sir Walter Scott played as a boy, the fount of his fascination for the tales of the Borders.

 

Hawick Common Riding

 

Saturday 9 June takes us into Liddesdale, pre-eminent in stories of the Border Reivers. Our road takes us by Teviothead where Johnnie Armstrong was hanged, past Hermitage Castle where Mary Queen of Scots scandalously rode to visit the wounded Earl of Bothwell. We cross into England at Kershopefoot, scene of many a bloody ambush of reiving bands.

 

Rewind 1500 years now, and Hadrian's Wall is in sight. The Roman Army Museum gives a great overview of what the Romans were doing here, then to the extraordinary Roman 'vicus' at Vindolanda home to the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain.

 

That night you're at a 16th century coaching inn by the English River Tyne.

 

Sunday 10 June takes us back up close to the Scottish Border and a look at the site of the Battle of Otterburn, a Scottish victory largely fought out by Douglases and Percys. Then across to Alnwick and the rambling home of both Dumbledore and the Duke of Northumberland. Plenty time here for lunch and exploring this vast castle.

 

Mid afternoon we head north to Flodden Battlefield and across the Tweed to Coldstream, following the trail of Lord Home, one of the Scottish commanders at Flodden. That night's hotel is in the market town of Kelso.

 

Floors Castle

 

Monday 11 June. Kelso Abbey is right on the doorstep so we take a look at that, then to spectacular Floors Castle, home to the Dukes of Roxburgh. After a cup of coffee we head up by Greenknowe, an impressive ruined tower-house of the Pringle family. Our last major stop is magnificent Thirlestane Castle, seat of the Dukes of Lauderdale, still occupied by the Maitland family. Then it's over the watershed to Edinburgh, pausing to see medieval Soutra Aisle by Roman Dere Street on the Lammermuir hills.

 

The last night's accommodation at a hotel near Edinburgh airport is included on a dinner bed and breakfast basis.

 

Clans and Castles

 

PRICE, TRANSPORT, GUIDE AND ACCOMMODATION

 

The cost of the tour is GBP 1500 (USD 2006 in January 2018).

 

The tour is priced for people travelling on their own. If you are happy to share a room, there is a reduction of GBP 150 per person.

 

The tour will be for a maximum of seven people travelling in a nine seater minibus.

 

Breakfast is included throughout; lunch is not included. Dinner is included on the last night; at the other overnight stops there is a range of bar meals and more formal options.

 

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

 

Price includes the following:                                                             

 

  • Bed and Breakfast for six nights.
  • Dinners on one night.
  • Tour guide and minibus for five days
  • All entry fees.
  • Talk on the Border Common Ridings
  • Visit to Lochcarron Weavers
  • Visit to Johnstons Cashmere.

 

Not included:

 

  • Lunches, drinks and snacks.
  • Dinners, except on last night.
  • Trip insurance.
  • Air fares

 

The deposit is GBP 300 per person.

The balance is due eight weeks from arrival.

 

Cancellation

 

We strongly recommend trip insurance.

                                                                                                                   

 

Exchange Rates

 

At the time of writing (January 2018) the exchange rate is 1.34 USD to one pound sterling (GBP). We use www.xe.com for our calculations and this means that:

 

  • The GBP 1500 holiday cost is currently USD 2006
  • The GBP 300 per person deposit is currently USD 401

 

Clans and Castles

 

NOW WHAT?

 

If you would like to know more about the trip then please send an email to me, Alastair Cunningham.

 

OR - If you would like to go ahead and book a place, you can make your deposit of GBP 300 per person (Mastercard or VISA) below...

 

Note - please use Ref: 'BORD' when prompted and use the Comments box to give us the name(s) of any other travellers, stating if you would like to share a room.

 

 

Payments types

 

Clans and Castles sell Inclusive tour holidays. Payments are in GBP Sterling.

Refund policy: If you have to cancel your holiday prior to payment of the balance, then we retain 75% of the deposit, plus any sums necessarily paid out as non-refundable deposits to other providers. All detail will be provided. If you have to cancel your holiday after payment of the balance, we undertake to recoup the maximum amount possible from the ultimate providers (such as hotels), according to their own terms and conditions, and this sum will be returned to you, to a maximum of 75% of the total amount received.
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Scottish Clans and Castles Limited, Coille House, Appletreehall, Hawick, Scottish Borders, TD9 8RS. Company No: SC215349

Customer service: Alastair Cunningham. enquiries@clansandcastles.com / Tel 01450 371719

 

Clans and Castles

 

 

 

 

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What other travellers have said about Clans and Castles tours.

 

Words cannot describe how wonderful the trip was.  Scotland is beautiful - the scenery, the people, everything about it.  It was the experience of a lifetime and I would recommend Clans and Castles to anyone planning to travel to Scotland. As to Jamie, I can't say enough good things about him.  His knowledge of history, past through present, added a dimension to the trip that was priceless. 

Sally Wenner, USA. May Outlander 2017.

 

The trip was really beautiful. Pauline was top notch. A very empathic, intelligent, funny lady - experienced enough to make the trip really fascinating and enjoyable. The food was very good. 

Sue Harris, USA. July Outlander 2017.

 

Thank you for putting together a trip that is perfect for the solo traveler to enjoy. Being able to share meals and stories while making new friends is a nice experience and I was grateful to have a guide and driver to navigate, answer questions, and share history.

Erin Lothner, USA. June Outlander 2017.

 

Alastair, the tour itself was better than I ever could have imagined.  Scotland is a majestic country with spectacular scenery with a rich history both tragic and inspiring.  You have great material to work with and the fact that you are so very enthusiastic about Scotland shows - you put your heart and soul into it. 

Tammy Heavrin, USA. July Outlander 2017.

 

It really was the trip of a lifetime. Laura was a fantastic host and guide. We all really enjoyed her company, her stories, and the historical information she provided the tour.  

Chance Parker, June Outlander, 2017

 

The tour, the sights, the service, the accommodations, Jamie, and Scotland in general were FABULOUS! Accommodations were lovely, innkeepers were wonderful, and the food was excellent. Jamie is a treasure!  His knowledge of the country and its history, his stories and pleasant personality MADE the trip one of a lifetime. In all honesty, the trip could have not been more perfect.

Kim Fitzgerald, USA. July Outlander, 2017.

 

Alastair, you made it super special and a lifetime memory - from your wonderful itinerary to the great overnight locations to marshalling the troops with patience and good humor through it all.

Annie Lee, Pennsylvania USA. June 2016 Outlander.

 

We loved the storyteller, the cairns, the visit to the churches, and Rosslyn Chapel. There was nothing we didn't enjoy. Jamie was everything you'd want in a guide. His knowledge of history and the area is awesome. He was accommodating, and so very patient.

Peggie Armstrong, North Carolina USA. May 2016 OUtlander.

 

It was so much more than just Outlander. I’m glad I didn’t go on a tour where we just were whisked around to different Outlander sites. The ones we visited were great, but I’m so glad we saw so much more of Scotland. And I’m glad we had you. Best trip ever.

Jenna Powell, Illinois, USA

 

We wanted to say what a wonderful time we had with all of you!  It was truly one of the best trips we've ever taken.  Great company, fabulous sights, and terrific tour director.

Sharon Moore,

South Carolina, USA.

 

 

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Contact us ...

 

Scottish Clans and Castles

Coille House,

Appletreehall, Hawick,

Scottish Borders TD9 8RS

T: +44 1450 371719

 

E: info@clansandcastles.com

 

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